Katie Sweep: Better Together..

When checking my social media, which I am sad to say I am in the habit of doing manyKatie Sweep Better Together 1 times a day, I am always pleased to see how my fellow sweeps have been getting on and what bizarre things they have come across that particular day, and often having a smile about the latest silly Meme doing the rounds and appreciate all the shared pictures from the roof tops & hearths from across the world. It reminds me daily that I am very much part of a very large community of sweeps, installers, suppliers, manufactures and so on and how we all in essence need each other as allies, to work together and better succeed with each other’s support.

I had not always realized this was the case … In my first years especially and even now occasionally we hear on the grape vine, via our customers and industry friends, of other companies unnecessarily bad mouthing myself and the lady sweeps, our quality of work (that we are extremely proud of our high standards & professionalism) and I have even in the past heard of a nearby chimney sweeping & installation company merrily telling people we were no longer in business! Rude to say the least. This particular company was obviously feeling rather threatened and ended up coming across as rather unprofessional themselves…possibly karma?

Katie Sweep Better Together 2Even just yesterday when Val sweep came across a particular notorious multifuel stove that we have had many an issue with in the past and so are now very familiar with that particular model and its problem with the baffle plate being virtually impossible to remove. There was unfortunately no alternative access within the flue pipe so upon discovering this the customer contacting the supposedly reputable installers to seek the best remedy and get some advice as it was a reasonably new install and this was its first sweep. The company were extremely defensive and their first line of defense was to completely rubbish us/Val and claimed she was not a professional, and that Val Sweep was very inexperienced!  This did not no go down well with our customer as they were fully aware that Val was of course a very experienced professional NACS member. Val politely telephoned the company back to correct them and they are now resolving the problem, so as a result  in the end the company have come across as rather rude and unprofessional and  they could have handled the situation soooo much better, it was all quite unnecessary and after all, manners costs nothing and nearly all problems can be remedied. The very nice customer will now unfortunately not be recommending them to their friends.

all good fun ey!

So back in the beginning I just excepted that this was just the way things were and it was just every man/woman for themselves, but over time I have realized that really does not have to be the case.

We have made friends with many a local sweep, installer, show room, gas man, roofer, pest controller and fuel supplier and it works wonderfully well to have such good contacts to recommend to our customers and in turn they recommend us and we really value and depend on such alliances within business.

Being a NACS member has also been brilliant and when I attended my training years ago I think that was the first time (other than the lady sweeps) I had spent any time with other sweeps and it was brilliant just to have a really good chat about the day to day toils and amusements we generally come across, it was great.

Locally in York there is a new sweep on the block who has set up in Katie Sweep Better Together 3business I presume fairly recently who’s van I have seen driving around a few times, and been told about by a few people also. It seems people expect me to react with resentment and say such thigs as ‘who dare set up as a sweep in my area’, it has made me chuckle a few times now but the way I see it is that there is enough work out there for all of us and we have a good loyal customer base and a good reputation to boot, so I am not overly concerned and wish them all the very best. I am sure at some point or another our paths will cross and hope to have a nice chat.

Another example of everyone coming together recently is in the case of Gary Atkins, a fellow sweep from near Ipswich and a Guild of master sweeps member who sadly had a terrible fall whilst fitting a cowl last year which has left him with life changing disability’s and the possibility he may never be able to return to sweeping. There has been a fantastic and ongoing  support for Gary and his family.   There has been so many generous donations already but still a long way to go to reach the anticipated total, so if you haven’t already, and are able to do so, please donate the price of just one sweep or more by clicking  here  if you can please keep spreading the word to help a fellow sweep at such a challenging time.

With Chimney Sweeps being quite a social bunch there are some brilliant upcoming industry Exhibitions, shows and associations AGM’s coming up to look forward to so lots of opportunities to have a good catch up and see all the latest goings on and no doubt do a little sweep shopping, I best leave my purse at home.

So in conclusion I would say the moral of the story is that working with people rather than against them makes it all so much more pleasant and life a little easier and a little brighter and try (not always easy I know) to see those who work locally as friend rather than foe.

Happy Sweeping to all.


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